WASHINGTON (May 19, 2015) – The Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) applauded Rep. José Serrano (D-NY) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) as they received the “Standing Tall for Zoos and Aquariums” award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and director of the 96 Elephants campaign, said, “Whether taking part in a global effort, such as the 96 Elephants campaign to stop wildlife trafficking, or working in our own backyard, including restoring the Bronx River and preserving the New York Seascape, zoos and aquariums are committed to saving wildlife and wild places. The conservation messages that citizens learn in these institutions are inspiring them to value nature. I thank Rep. Serrano, who represents the Bronx Zoo, and Rep. Fortenberry for their commitment to zoos and aquariums and ensuring they continue to be recognized as essential institutions in our communities.”

Zoos and aquariums play an important role in cities and towns across America, contributing to education, community engagement, conservation and local economies. The 229 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums collectively generate more than $17 billion in annual economic activity and support more than 166,000 jobs. In addition, these institutions contribute $160 million to more than 2,450 field conservation projects worldwide.


Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City,  visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org; http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia  Follow: @thewcs.

96 Elephants (www.96elephants.org) – named for the number of elephants currently gunned down each day by poachers – is a WCS campaign that focuses on: securing effective U.S. moratorium laws; bolstering elephant protection with additional funding; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis. WCS’s 96 Elephants campaign brings together world citizens, partners, thought leaders, and change makers to leverage collective influence to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.